Ruben Amaro says he wants Doc back, but at what price? And is giving him a contract laced with incentives even worth the risk?
We barely need to be reminded of the numbers:
2.59 ERA, 130 GS, 35 CG, 11 SO, 1.065 WHIP, 6.1 K/BB
2012-13: 15-13, 5.15 ERA, 38 GS, 1 CG, 0 SO, 1.292 WHIP, 2.54 K/BB
Doc has spent the good portion of the last two years on the disabled list; dropped velocity on his fastball; perhaps more alarmingly lost any semblance of control over his pitches; and, after returning early from shoulder surgery this season, made it just five games and 16 pitches before finally succumbing to his body's limits.
Yet not even two years ago, he was still the best pitcher in the game.
“Honestly, I would love to bring Roy back,” Amaro said Monday, per Jim Salisbury at CSNPhilly.com. “We do not believe that that was the Roy Halladay that we’re going to see in 2014. We have to continue to talk to our medical people. We’ll talk to Roy, obviously. And we’ll talk to our scouts. It’s a tough one and hopefully we’ll make a good decision with him.
“Roy’s going to have more of a decision with this than we are.”
If that's the case, it seems the Phillies will at least consider offering Halladay something, but exactly how much remains to be seen.
Halladay made $20 million per season in each of the past three years.
“As far as monetizing his contract, I have no idea where to go there yet, ” Amaro said. “It's going to be something south of where he is now, clearly, but the question is how far south do you go without embarrassing the player? How far south do you go risking what he will be for us? We’ve talked about the shared risk and that is something that will have to happen.”
It's got to be south of $10 million, which is what the Oakland A's gave Ben Sheets in 2010 after Sheets had been out of baseball for a year. Sheets, however, was 31 at the time, and the deal didn't work out — he pitched 20 games and went 4-9 with a 4.53 ERA.
It's really unclear exactly what constitutes an embarrassing contract and what doesn't. If Halladay is handed a one-year, $10 million deal and can't last more than 16 pitches, what's more embarrassing — the contract or the performance?
And how much upside could possibly be left with a pitcher who will turn 37 less than two months into the season? Halladay may be one of the hardest-working pitchers in the game, but he hasn't been able to work himself out of trouble the past two years.
It appears, at least at the moment, that the Phillies aren't ready to cut ties completely with him. But other than nostalgic value, what would Halladay be able to bring to the 2014 Phillies?